This poem, written by a new friend in

response to one by my daughter Damaris

which ends "listening, waiting to hear the

joining of the flock," is dedicated to Demi

and printed here with the author's consent.

Flocks, schools, swarms, hives, herds –

the animals move instinctively together;

for them, being is belonging.

We humans move awkwardly,

doubting ourselves, distrusting others,

we forget our animal nature.

Feathered wisdom has three rules:

Don't crowd your neighbor,

Stay aligned,


That's all they need -

this murmuration of starlings -

to make their majestic migrations;

angelic calligraphy in the sky.

We die, yearning to align and cohere,

forgetting that whether we're

just arriving or just leaving this life,

we're always flocking home.

–Rebecca Armstrong, 2019

2019 Jacqueline Jackson

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